Broad Ripple

Jaime left for work at 2:30am this morning, so instead of getting up with her to go birding early like I usually do on Saturday, I slept in. After bringing her some breakfast from Haoglin Cafe, I decided that I would still make a quick local trip to see if any warblers were hanging out in Broad Ripple. The Broad Ripple Arts Center has some great riparian habitat on the south bank of the White River. I came up with 18 species in only an hour. Here is my eBird list.

Magnolia Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

This is what is known in the birding world as a “diagnostic photo.” What that means is that the photo is terrible, but shows enough of a bird’s field marks for a positive ID of the subject. I saw a Magnolia Warbler last week for the first time during my warbler overload, but it was good to see another one today just to confirm that I wasn’t making things up in my lifer euphoria of the moment. The “diagnostics” here show the streaked yellow breast, gray wings, and white wing bar for an easy ID.

American Redstart Female

American Redstart Female

As I was tracking a Red-Eyed Vireo (seen before it was heard, for probably the first time ever), this female American Redstart flew into view. Not as brightly colored as the male, but the yellow patches on the side made this a relatively easy ID.

Jaime, the best wife ever, has agreed to humor me and go birding with me tomorrow! I am thinking it will be a good day to check the activity at Holliday Park. I will probably update again after that and see if she is ready to start her own life list yet!

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Warbler Bonanza

After not going out birding for a few weeks, I just had a Big Day at the always reliable Eagle Creek. In four hours, I logged 46 species, 7 of which were lifers and 11 of which were Warblers: Nashville Warbler, Chestnut-Sided Warbler (lifer), Ovenbird, Black-and-White Warbler, American Redstart, Magnolia Warbler (lifer), Yellow-Throated Warbler, Bay-Breasted Warbler (lifer), Blackburnian Warbler (lifer), Cape May Warbler (lifer), and Palm Warbler (lifer). For those of you keeping track at home, my only non-Warbler lifer on the day was a Red-Breasted Nuthatch, which somehow I had never seen despite how common they are. And the park was full of them this morning. Here is my list on eBird!

My pictures weren’t quite as good as my day list, but I did get a few nonetheless:

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

The Warblers were so thick that I didn’t even have to look for them. I could just train my binoculars on a tree branch and one or two (or three in one instance) would just fly into view after a few seconds. Of course identifying what I was seeing was much more difficult than finding the birds, but thanks to several other birders present at the Eagle Creek marina, I had a lot of help. The Blackburnian Warbler above was fairly easy to identify because of his black, white, and orange color scheme.

Chestnut-Sided Warbler

Chestnut-Sided Warbler

So the Chestnut-Sided Warbler doesn’t have chestnut-colored sides in the fall, so this was a tricky ID. But Peterson saved the day, as he showed me that this is the only fall Warbler with a green cap and yellow wing bars.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

I have had problems getting a photo of the impressively large Pileated Woodpecker. But today, this guy was flying back and forth between two huge sycamore trees, screaming all the way. Kind of hard to miss. He must have been trying to get someone’s attention, because in between the screams he would jackhammer on a hollow dead branch, raising even more of a ruckus.

Pied-Billed Grebe

Pied-Billed Grebe

Pied-Billed Grebes are here now! Although they were not big fans of getting their picture taken, ducking under the water and darting away if I got too close.

Wood Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush says ‘sup.